Temper Tantrums: The Smaller the Importance, The Grander the Performance
After each tantrum, I am always amazed at the passion and intensity of them.
I'm not going to bore you with the details, but let's just say it was over a food choice.
Big E lost it. He was screaming, crying, tugging on my clothes, and throwing food. A glorious mixture of snot and tears were running down his face.
It's always at this point in the tantrum that I wonder how a simple decision ends up causing armageddon for my 4 year old.
And trust me, I am not unmoved by his performance. It rattles me to my very core.
Last night, I let my frustration get the better of me. I slammed the hell out of the microwave door to get him to stop crying. It startled Big E for a moment, but then he ramped back up.
I needed to put myself in time-out, because I was seconds away from losing control of the situation.
I took a seat on the bar stool, rested my head in my hands, and took so many deep breaths that for a moment I thought I was at a yoga retreat. Tears welled up in my eyes.
GOD, PLEASE GIVE ME PATIENCE. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.
I glanced up at Big E. He had settled down to a simmer.
YOU WILL EAT WHAT I COOKED FOR YOU OR YOU WILL GO TO BED HUNGRY. YOUR CHOICE.
I picked up my plate.
I'M GOING INTO THE OTHER ROOM TO COOL OFF.
I left the Yoys sitting at their little guy table, picking at their dinners.
As I ate my dinner in silence, I began to unclench. I felt horrible for slamming the door like that. I was laid out by mommy guilt.
Aside from constantly being drunk, I'm just not sure how anyone could keep their cool in the face of such a hurricane of emotions.
After a few minutes, I heard Big E make his way to the playroom.
MOM, ARE YOU STILL MAD AT ME?
I didn't answer. Now I felt worse.
MOM, I MADE YOU A SURPRISE SO YOU WILL BE UNMAD AT ME! COME SEE!
And here it is, his forgiveness drawing as I like to call it.
ARE YOU STILL MAD AT ME?
He asked me again. I sat down on the floor with him right next to his drawing.
I tried to make this a teaching moment for both of us. I apologized for losing my temper and explained to him that when he acts that way it really hurts my feelings.
I'm not sure how much he absorbed, but he did finally apologize and I felt much better.
Mothering is some serious sh*t.